The Great Big All We Want for Christmas Bike Blog Roundup

Well, it's the last roundup of the year, and the time to be thinking positively about how we can have happier cities - and not ones where walking and cycling have been designed out. For instance Melbourne's plans for 20-minute neighbourhoods, or Bogota's miraculous traffic-free Sundays - or just having some cheery messages stenciled along the bike lanes. Despite the fact that bike lanes are still seen as taking something away from people, in fact where space is tight, everyone benefits from catering for cycling - as Brighton's new bus-and-bike lanes are already demonstrating - and it's the only affordable way to fix the Northern line. Which might mean we don't all have to suffer the real cost of congestion...

Tis also the season to be shopping - and naturally you'll be picking up your tree by bike. So how better to boost small businesses than some bike friendly streets, rather than designing around traffic and removing all the bike parking from a shopping street. And don't forget the effect on house prices too - just don't get the developers to build the cycle links. And as it's the season of goodwill and all that, try not to bully any small veteran-owned businesses over your trademarks but if you do, make sure you apologise properly. Meanwhile Sustrans are making the case for investment in active travel in Scotland - not to mention the benefits to tourism, and while drivers in Maastricht are offered incentives to switch from cars to (e-)bikes, in the US it seems you need to get a car to claim umemployment benefit - after all there are nine unanswerable reasons why you just can't cycle to work.

As the year draws to its end, campaigning continues unabated with Space for Cycling launched for next year's local elections - Sheffield cycle campaign and Newcycling are both on board and want their local members' input. Living Streets looks back on its achievements in 2013. In Cambridge the chair of the cycling campaign decides compromise is no longer an option - it's time to start taking space away from cars. Cambridge cyclist is cautiously pleased but sadly there's one 16-year-old girl in the city who's lost her life on the roads. CTC Scotland's Chris Oliver considers why cyclists should use twitter. Dead Dog Blog considers the organisational differences between pedestrian and cycling campaigns while Kats Dekker considers the different approaches of the US and UK bike industries. With 'avid cyclists' no longer a force in policy making, perhaps we should be listening to the kids instead as they helped to bring about profound changes culturally and physically in the Netherlands, or at least consult some cycling architects. Meanwhile, plans to improve a stretch of road are opposed by local residents while rival petitions battle it out over cycle lanes on the Gloucester Road and Traffik in Tooting needs your help to get a safety measure approved. And as the US Bike League forms an equity advisory council, it seems bikes are a left/right issue, in North America at least.

Following a torrid few weeks in London where 80% of cyclists are more concerned about safety now - due to the conditions on the streets and not the actions of campaigners - Boris vows to continue London's cycling revolution, but only 33 junctions instead of the orignally promised 100 are to be overhauled - and it's not just about cyclists, pedestrians are suffering too. Hammersmith Broadway is to be one of the lucky junctions, but it looks like the Nag's Head junction is to be made worse not better; until safety is put ahead of traffic flow (or indeed TfL gets a better class of board member) the overhauls won't help. Tower Hamlets reports on the CS2 summit while the surgeons at the front line find it not fit for purpose (New York doctors see similar horrors for pedestrians). However there is to be public consultation over the London Lorry Control scheme.

Could it be that conditions on the streets are also contributing to the relative failure of the Boris Bikes, with Barclays pulling out as sponsor? Despite this, it is expanding in Lambeth and Kensington and Chelsea - but unlike Chicago, it doesn't have an app for that - and as far as we no, nobody's attempted to do cyclocross on a Boris Bike yet. In contrast, in New York, bike hire bikes already make up 30% of bike traffic in the area where it operates and Washington's scheme is still growing, while Austin, Texas and Hamilton in Canada are both hopping on the bandwagon soon as the bike share boom continues unabated. Just make sure that lack of a credit card doesn't exclude the poorest from the fun.

Or indeed, that you have streets fit for bikes - sometimes those who choose to drive ridiculously short distances have a point - which could mean building decent bridges and underpasses (or, indeed, extravagantly wonderful ones). As Dublin continues to mix cyclists and pedestrians, in spite of Ireland's new design manual, Germany gives them elaborate intersections. The real reason why the Dutch cycle is that they are the true vehicularists, while at least coloured lanes show drivers they can't have the roads to themselves. While Dutch-style segregation was overwhelmingly welcomed for Manchester's Oxford road, it looks as if lighter on-road segregation is being considered instead - although sometimes the cheap option is not just cheaper, but better. In Oregon, a student design project for a cycle lane could become reality, while the Illionois Department of Transport finally backs down over curb-separated bike lanes. And why does the Safe Routes to School programme in the US spend its time retrofitting walking and cycling infrastructure without ever considering where to site new schools in the first place?

In police news, Devon and Cornwall Police are taking a proactive approach to cycle safety, while Sheffield police take things one step further and set a young driver's mum on him for antisocial behaviour (at least they stopped short of shooting), while in Bristol they're still preaching mutual respect (and in Australia it's getting too hot for some to wear helmets). Icycleliverpool explains strict liability - and Kim Harding expands - while Dave McCraw asks why we are so accepting about the risks HGV drivers take around vulnerable road users. Meanwhile Wisconsin holds hearings on a vulnerable road user law and Portland to Portland suggest we follow the Golding Rule.

As Toronto takes some radical measures to ensure pedestrian road safety (it's surely the next logical step after badgering pedestrians to wear hi vis), helmet proponents show a real lack of imagination over what would really make roads safer - here are some really radical alternatives. Ben Goldacre considers the complex epidemiology of helmets - but at least a helmet cam will help your surgeons put you back together if you face plant. A concerned motorist leaves Wisob wondering how visible she should aim to be. As a motoring journalist suggests making cycle awareness part of the driving test, Edinburgh council is already ahed of the game with its lorry drivers to get cycle training, while Dave Warnock has some words of advice for overtaking drivers and Rhode Island cyclists try asking nicely. And as some campaigners want AP to update its style guide to eliminate 'accidents', Isolate cyclist wonders why we're concentrating on the language rather than the actual safety.

With driving rates continuing to fall in Milwaukee and Madison, and 30% of Seattleites regularly cycling, no wonder there's less and less appetite for new roads - but the numbers alone don't tell us everything. Sam Saunders considers the figures for England's 'cycling cities'. Meanwhile, the ECF's reports are proving a useful resource for European policy makers.

With winter getting into its swing (except maybe in LA), the real winter cyclists get going - whether they're still soldiering along on Chicago's hire bikes or discovering that even in a snowstorm cycling is a lot better than walking in Canada - while when it comes to ploughing your protected bike lanes it helps if one part of the administration doesn't put the snow back (perhaps they were checking for frozen drunk Norwegians?). And if it all gets too much, here's how to put your bike on the bus (sadly not an option for us Brits), or just go on a Santa Rampage in Milwaukee - just make sure you don't poo on any village greens. Er...

Meanwhile, back in the UK, Leicester's newest cycle track is completed and promptly parked on - but in Portsmouth some bike lane obstructions are quickly dealt with. Spokes responds to Edinburgh's latest cycle route plans. Backstage Belfasts documents the now-you-see-it now-you-don't cycle parking of the University of Belfast while Bikemapper asks why Westminster's proposed cycle network doesn't include some of the busiest bike routes. the busiest bike routes?

As Dutch officials learn how to do cycling properly from Yorkshire (no, really), Mike Rubbo gives us a visitor's-eye view of Groningen station. With the departure of the face of New York's 'bikelash', a candidate for Florida Governor kicks off his campaign by bike. Santa Monica Boulevard offers an opportunity to build in cycling, while Seattle's bike plan sails through its public hearing. People for Bikes' community grants programme offers some inspiration while for all its faults, Dublin still offers reasons to celebrate. And with cycle projects going on all around New Zealand, Wellington is tripling spending on cycling - but Auckland still has things to learn from Brisbane.

And finally, with Christmas being the time for giving, e-bikes are offering a helping hand to the homeless. And while perhaps this bike should be on our Christmas list for the truly altruistic, there's really only one gift a cyclist really needs - and for those of you claiming that your bike is just for transport and means no more to you than a vacuum cleaner, we have only two words for you: bah, humbug.

And that's it for the bike roundup for the year. We hope you've enjoyed them, learned something, discovered new blogs - and even been inspired to start blogging yourself...